Growing up, my parents made Chinese food at least 90% of the time. So you would think my blog would be mostly Chinese food recipes. Nope. Once I moved out and was left to cook on my own I enjoyed trying all sorts of new food types and trying new recipes. If you ask my kids, they will tell you I can eat Mexican food everyday of the week. It’s true. Pork carnitas is one recipe I love as it is not particularly hard to make. And if you get a large pork shoulder, it makes enough for a crowd or you have leftovers for days. This recipe makes at least 12 servings!
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3-4 pounds pork shoulder
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 bulb garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt, then arrange the pork in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Transfer the pork shoulder to a large baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid.
- Bake the pork in the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Drizzle more of the cooking liquid on the meat every 10 minutes, and use two forks to shred the meat as it browns. (Keep in mind, the objective of the final step is to get slightly crispy outside with a moist, tender inside.)
- Serve the carnitas with warm, fresh tortillas and pico de gallo or whatever you like! I like to make mine into tacos.
The hardest part of this recipe for me was finding somewhere that sold Jerk seasoning. I looked up and down the spice aisle. Then I tried the international aisle of my local grocery store. Still couldn’t find it. I tried the store across the way from my favorite grocery store. Still couldn’t find it. I found every other type of seasoning spices. Finally I did an internet search. I found it on Amazon of all places. Finally! This recipes is actually very tasty and not as spicy as I like since my son can’t handle spicy foods. So feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning you use according to your tastes.
- 1 pound Gemelli pasta (or Penne pasta will work too)
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk seasoning (divided)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- . Season chicken breasts all over using 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning per chicken breast.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook chicken until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside to rest.
- Add remaining oil and cook peppers until mostly tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add green onions and garlic until fragrant, 1 minute. Season with remaining tablespoon jerk seasoning.
- Add chicken stock and heavy cream and let simmer until thickened, 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice prepared chicken.
- Add Parmesan and stir until melted and creamy, then add pasta and chicken and toss until completely combined.
- Garnish with green onions and more Parmesan and serve.
Tired of the same old beef stew recipe? Then change it up by making Japanese curry beef instead. It’s basically a beef stew with a curry kick. I stuck with the medium hot S&B Golden Curry brand. If I had brought home the “hot” level one, my son would have protested. Japanese curry roux is not all that spicy compared to the Indian curry powders I have used in my chicken curry. For my vegetarian friends like Sue T., skip the beef and just add more potatoes, carrots and onions to make a hearty vegetable curry. Serve with a side of rice and your tummy will be thanking you.
- 1 pound beef (cut for stew)
- 2 white or yellow onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 box curry roux (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- Cut vegetables into bite size pieces. (About the same size as your beef stew meat.)
- Heat oil and brown meat in a Dutch Oven or large lidded pot over high heat. Take meat out when the sides of the beef are seared, but not cooked through.
- In the same pot, lower heat to medium high and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then the beef.
- Add water to the pot. After the water boils, skim the fat and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
- Now add the curry roux blocks into the pot. Stir well so the pieces of the roux dissolves.
- Once the roux has dissolved, stir in apricot jam, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and optional curry powder.
- Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
It’s asparagus season here in California. I find myself buying asparagus every shopping trip now. But instead of making my usual grilled asparagus as a side dish, I wanted to add it into the main dish. If you love making quick dinners like I do then you are going to love this. Also, this recipe only requires a few ingredients which makes this even simpler. I have another variation of this dish ( Asparagus Beef ) where you make your own sauce, however this one is using a premade black bean garlic sauce which cuts the time in half and does the work for you. This serves 2-4 depending on your portions.
- 12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 pound of asparagus, sliced into thirds
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce (found at local grocery stores in your international aisle or Asian markets)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (this offsets the sharpness of the black bean sauce)
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- Add beef strips to a bowl. Then add cornstarch, grated garlic and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat up wok or skillet on high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
- Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
- Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
- Add in asparagus and onions.
- Stir for about 10 seconds and cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
- Add the black bean and garlic sauce paste, sugar and beef stock. Stir to mix well.
- Let beef and vegetables continue to cook with the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is cooked tender.
- Plate with jasmine rice and serve immediately.
If you took a quick glance at my most recent posts, you might think I’m all about sweets and chicken. While I’m not going to confirm or deny that may be true, I do make other recipes as well. You might even say somewhat healthy ones every once in a while too. So for my vegetarian friends out there, I have not forsaken you. (Yes, I’m looking at you Sue T.!)
This soup recipe can be altered to whichever vegetables you have or that are in season. It is called vegetable soup afterall. I used what I had on hand. The flavor of the soup was reminiscent of a chicken tortilla soup without the chicken or tortillas. And be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of servings (6-8) for you to share on a cold winter’s day.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced (I used 1/2 each of an orange, red and yellow bell peppers)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen or 1 can of corn)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chile peppers
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1-2 zucchinis, sliced
- avocado slices
- lime wedges or lime juice
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- shredded cheese
- tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
- Add bell peppers, carrots and onions to pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
- Add in minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add in tomatoes, corn, black beans, diced green chiles and vegetable stock.
- Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add in zucchini.
- Re-cover and simmer for another 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
- Serve immediately with optional toppings.
I haven’t jumped into the Instant pot craze yet. I think it is probably because most my recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less anyway. But I do love having a crock pot! All you have to do is put all the ingredients in and set your temperature to either high or low and then set the timer and go about your day. My crock pot will even keep the ingredients warm after the timer has completed. So if you have other things going on or say, maybe you forget you had something cooking, (um, not speaking from experience) the “keep warm” feature will not make all your hard effort get cold and go bad.
I bought another one of those organic chicken packs that come with two breasts and four drumsticks. (Those organic chickens must look funny.) So I thought I’d pull out the crock pot and put it to use. If you do not have a crock pot, that’s quite okay. You can still use this recipe and put everything in a baking dish and bake at 350 F degrees for 50-60 minutes.
- 1 whole cut up chicken (or all thighs, all drumsticks or two breasts and four drumsticks pack like I used.)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
- 1/4 cup ketchup (low sodium if you have)
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro (whichever taste you prefer)
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Arrange chicken on the bottom of your crock pot. Do not season chicken with salt as there is plenty of sodium in the other ingredients. You can season chicken with pepper if you would like though. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, honey, lite soy sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, sriracha and parsley or cilantro. Whisk until mixed well.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.
- Close with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on LOW, or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
- Remove lid and transfer chicken to a serving plate.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve with rice or salad.
At my local supermarket, I came across a pack of organic chicken breasts and drumsticks. I thought how strange there were no thighs or wings. But I also thought, how perfect this was for my son and me. He loves drumsticks and I love chicken breasts. While I was at the supermarket, I kept smelling the fresh out of the rotisserie chicken they were packaging up. As I do not own a rotisserie, this was my inspiration to try to come up with a baked chicken with rotisserie flavors. So this is what I tried. Considering I had breasts and drumsticks to cook together, they came out surprisingly moist and tender.
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- olive oil
- 1 whole cut up chicken (My chicken pack came only with 2 breasts and 4 drumsticks)
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl, make spice rub by combining brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Mix well.
- Rub chicken with olive oil.
- Rub spice mix over chicken pieces covering both sides.
- Place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
- Add an extra drizzle of olive oil over chicken pieces.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 400F degrees. This initial high heat will help brown the chicken.
- Then lower the heat to 350 F degrees and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes more until the juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165 F degrees and of the drumsticks are 170 F degrees.
- Remove from oven and transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.